Searching for the Holy Grail

Searching for the Holy Grail
17 May, 2018 NetClean

Searching for the Holy Grail

– Technologies that tackle CSA crime

Recently we launched an initiative which highlights that technology is by far the best way to intercept and remove child sexual abuse material on the Internet. It is inspired by the WePROTECT Global Alliance Model National response, which provides guidance and support to countries on how to build capacity to fight child sexual abuse online and offline.

We call our initiative Technical Model National Response, and it focuses solely on the different technologies that countries need to invest in to have a robust system that finds and blocks online child sexual material, evidence, which is later used by police to prosecute perpetrators and rescue children.

Our launch featured this film, which is an introduction to how different technologies work on different parts of the web and internet. Following this we are going to keep the conversation alive in a series of blog posts by looking at the many different technologies that are available and the role that they play in safeguarding devices and the Internet. We will be looking at many of the actors, e.g. Internet Service Providers, Social Media, Hotlines to mention a few, and the technology suited to their products and work.

A range of different solutions

Our series of blog posts will show that there are a range of different solutions working today – from hash values that is a fingerprinting system for pictures, which allows software such as crawlers to recognise images; specific programmes built for the police; other programmes built for businesses that investigates networks and work-based computers; and hotlines that allows the general public to report material that they have come across.

The Internet is a complex multi-layered place which provides many ways for perpetrators to share child sexual abuse material. Therefore, nobody can argue that there is one technology or solution to policing the Internet against online child sexual material.

However, it can still be tempting to believe that a new technology is a ‘catch-all’ solution, a holy grail. This has, as yet, never been the case – crawlers and hotlines, for example, provide different services, neither can replicate the work of the other, and both are vital to the work of stopping this online crime.

No such thing as a holy grail

At NetClean we work to inform businesses and organisations of the technology that they can apply to their networks and computers. If all businesses and organisations in the world – millions of computers and networks – installed this software on their systems, the opportunities to find online child sexual material would increase infinitely.

We cannot however say that our products on their own can stop online child sexual abuse material from being shared across the internet and the Darknet. We need all the other technology to be successful.

There is no such thing as a holy grail. There is awareness, collaboration, and investment in all the different technology that covers the entire online world. Follow our series of articles to find out more about how using all available technology is the key to building capacity to fight online child sexual abuse. The first blog post will be published in a couple of weeks’ time, so stay posted.

About the Techincal Model National Response

Inspired by the WeProtect Global Alliance Model we have set out to develop an initiative that looks at technology. We call it the Technical Model National Response.  It is presenting the existing technologies that need to be applied by different sectors and businesses to effectively fight the spread of child sexual abuse material.